All about arborsculpture

All about arborsculpture

Arborsculpture is the art and technique of growing and shaping trunks of trees and other woody plants. By grafting, bending and pruning the woody trunks and or branches are grown into shapes either ornamental or useful. Similar to espalier and possibly including some topiary for some projects. The word is a conjunction of the words arbor (Latin for tree) and sculpture..

Contents

Method

Arborsculpture relies on the ability of plants (trees) to be united together by approach grafting and the ability to retain a new shape when new layers of wood form to hold a desired shape.

Approach grafting is accomplished by wounding two or more parts of a tree or trees by cutting off the bark, to or past the cambiumlayer and then binding the wounded parts together so good contact is secure while the wounded tree parts grow together.

Stems or branches, are bent into shapes and temporarily braced for a year or more depending on the amount of resistance overcome. During that time, additional layers of wood grow. These new layers of wood act like a natural cast, keeping the Stem and branches in the new desired shape. The temporary bracing can be removed after the shape holds itself.

Pruning may be required to remove unwanted branches and direct the growth into the desired shape. Pruning may also redirect stem growth. A pruning cut above a Leaf or Node can steer the plant. If a leaf points to the right, then a cut above that leaf will produce new growth that grows to the right side. Likewise, a cut above a leaf pointing to the left, produces new growth that grows to the left.

Using these methods (also used in Arboriculture), items like benches, chairs, etc., can be formed from trees by bending, merging and manipulating Plant tissue.

Tools

A few of the tools used in Arborsculpture are similar to those used by a Gardener, an Arborist, or a Horticulturist. These tools include handpruners (Secateur) and a pruning saw.

Far less common for Arborsculpture pruning tools are shears because those are used more often for topiary or a Hedge (barrier).

The tools, materials and items for bending and shaping are virtually unlimited - basically, whatever each "Arborsculpturist" chooses for bending, fastening and restraining. This could include wood boards, pipe, rope, wire, string, tape, etc.. Even an item like a metal patio bench could be used as a pattern or mold.

Time required

The time to grow and construct an arborsculpture project varies, depending on the size of starter material, the species rate of growth, cultivation conditions and the height of the design. It is possible to perform initial grafting and bending on a project in an hour (see peace-sign tree top right), removing tape or material that holds the grafting or shape in as little as 1 year and following up with minimal pruning thereafter.

Taller projects like the archway by Axel Erlandson may require 10 years or more to grow the trees tall enough to accomplish the grafting. Large trees could be bent into shape and grafted or bolted together in an afternoon.

Different styles of arborsculpture have different time requirements. When growing arborsculpture intended for harvesting and drying there is a defined point that the piece is finished. When growing a piece intended to stay alive it could be argued that the piece is never finished until it dies.

"The common assumption is that these things take a long time and a lot of patience, the truth is time is an illusion and the sooner one starts the sooner one will have a substantially large tree. Do children grow up fast ? How fast has the last 10 years of your life gone by ? You see it is all relative isn't it ?" - Richard Reames

References

  1. ^ Magazines containing the definition of Arborsculpture-
    • Cassidy, Patti (April/May 2006) "Art to Grow", Acreage Life (Canada) P. 17
    • Nestor, James (February, 2007). "Branching Out"., Dwell p. 96.
    • Fore, Joshua (Issue #20) “How to Grow a Chair” Cabinet p. 27.
    • May, John (Spring/Summer 2005) "The Art of Arborsculpture" Tree News(UK) P.37
    T.V. Broadcast containing the definition of Arborsculpture-
    • “Tree Stories”, Fantasy Trees show # 103
    • “Offbeat America” # OB310 (First aired Dec 4 2006)

External links

Arborsculpture- Solutions for a Small Planet

By Richard Reames first printing 2005 second printing with revisions 2007

1. Introduction
5. Trees and Spirit
Tree Time, Medicine for a
Fast-Paced World . . .5
The Druids . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Sacred Trees . . . . . . . . . . .7
11. Evolution
Living Fossil Trees . . . . .13
Hiroshima’s A-Bombed
Ginkgoes . . . . . . . . .14
The Dawn Redwood . . .15
17. Record Trees
Longevity. . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Tallest Topiary. . . . . . . . . .18
The Most Massive
Tree Ever . . . . . . . . . 18
Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Deepest Roots. . . . . . . . . .19
Hardest/Heaviest Wood . 19
Lightest Wood . . . . . . . . . 19
Largest Fruit and Seed . . .19
Largest Leaves . . . . . . . . .20
Slowest Growing Tree . . .20
Longest Tree-Lined
Avenue . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Tree Bearing the Most
Different Fruits . . . . .20
Tallest/Longest Hedges . .20 23

History of Shaping Trees
Coppicing . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Pollarding . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Topiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Pleaching . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Espalier . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Bonsai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Trees as “Parts” . . . . . . . 30
“Het Knopenlaantje” . . . 31
Dancing Trees . . . . . . . . .33
A Bird’s Eye Vantage
Point . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 35

Visionaries
Johann or Jehan Perreal . .35
Emmanuel Swedenborg . .38
Jacob Lorber . . . . . . . . . . 40
Joseph Beuys. . . . . . . . . . 42
Ken Carey . . . . . . . . . . . .45
47. Pioneers
John Krubsack . . . . . . . . .47
Axel N. Erlandson . . . . . .54
Arthur Wiechula . . . . . . . .78
85.

Arborsculptors
David Nash . . . . . . . . . . .84
Aharon Naveh . . . . . . . . .86
Nirandr Boonnetr . . . . . .90
Ezekiel Golan . . . . . . . . . .97
Dr. Christopher Cattle . . .99
Dr. Lois Walpole . . . . . .104
Laird Funk . . . . . . . . . . .108
Peter Cook & Becky Northey
“Pooktre” . . . . . . . .112
Marinus Boezem . . . . . .123
Konstantin Kirsch . . . . .124
Herman Block . . . . . . . .131
“Mokusho-en” and the World
Expo . . . . . . . . . . .137
Richard Reames . . . . . . . 145
157. Tree Teachers
Three Pioneering Approaches
to Arborsculpture . .157
The Living House . . . . . 158
Giants of Modern Tree
Biology . . . . . . . . . .163
Dr. Alex Shigo . . . . . .164
Dr. Claus Mattheck . .166
Tree Responses . . . . . . .166
Gravitropic Response .167
Phototropic Response 168
Pruning Response . . . .168
Selecting Trees for
Arborsculpture . . . .169
Arborsculpture-specific
Criteria . . . . . . . . . .169
Apical Dominance . . . . .170
Deciduous Versus
Evergreen . . . . . . . .171
Speed of Growth . . . . . .171
Patience: “Calm
Endurance” . . . . . . .171
Trees That Have Been My
Teachers . . . . . . . . .172
Alder . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172
American plane tree
(Sycamore) . . . . . . .173
Ash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173
Birch . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173
Fig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173
Fruit Trees . . . . . . . . .173
Locust . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
Maple . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
Oak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
Poplar . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
Vines . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
Willows . . . . . . . . . . . .175
Supply Sources . . . . . . . .175
177.

Techniques
Bending . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
Cabling . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178
Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . .178
Grafting . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
Notching . . . . . . . . . . . . .184
Rubbing . . . . . . . . . . . . .184
Inclusions . . . . . . . . . . . .184
The Gun in the Tree .186
The Bike in the Tree .186
Grown Tools . . . . . . . .189
Faucets . . . . . . . . . . . .190
Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192
Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192
Sunburn . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
Pests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
Experiences at Arborsmith
Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
How to Grow a Chair . .198
205. Solutions
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . .205
207. Bibliography
210. Credits
Photo credits. . . . . . . . . 210
Illustration credits . . . . . .211
Trees shaped by: . . . . . . 211


 

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